Chapter 656 - Swamp

In the hazy dusk of twilight, clouds had covered the sky. Sitting beside the bonfire, Lin Yun toyed with the Profound Lightning Bead in his hand and muttered, “No wonder this is a precious treasure. There’s still one-third lightning energy left even after half a month…”

He had already left the Thundercloud Treasury for twenty days and he would spend about five hours every day refining the Profound Lightning Bead with the Azure Dragon Enneaform.

The effect was pretty good as his Azure Dragon Enneaform had been improved quite smoothly. After all, this was a lot better than the beast core of a lightning attributed demonic beast. As he cultivated, more secrets began to appear from body-refining martial technique. Purple lightning runes had started to appear and spread out around the Azure Dragon Mark that slowly strengthened his physique.

After a series of experiments, Lin Yun discovered that the lightning runes weren’t the same as those manifested from his own strength. He now had thirty cauldron’s worth of strength, which had converted to eighteen lightning runes. There were still twelve lightning runes left and he speculated that he should be able to completely convert his strength after refining all the remaining lighting energy in the Profound Lightning Bead.

After that, he wouldn’t have to convert anymore as any increase in his strength would come from the Azure Dragon Enneaform. Lin Yun clenched his fist tightly and soared into the sky before throwing out a punch.

In the next second, the Azure Dragon Mark on his heart emitted a purple light and the eighteen lightning runes came to life as they crawled on the surface of Lin Yun’s body, moving towards his arm with surging power.

Along with a rumbling lightning, a three thousand meters crater appeared on the ground with dust flying through the air. At the bottom of the crater, one could still see lightning flickering. This left a satisfied expression on Lin Yun’s face because this punch could confront a pinnacle lesser Yin-Yang stage expert. However, he didn’t know if it would give him an advantage against those geniuses on the inner ranking.

After all, the geniuses on the inner ranking could already transcend the gap of cultivation to kill stronger experts. The inner ranking was a whole new world.

Although he still couldn’t be sure for now, he was confident that if all thirty cauldron’s worth of strength was converted into lightning runes, he could face everyone with his sword intent and Iris Sword Sutra.

Right at this moment, the roar of a violent beast echoed out as a demonic beast shrouded in demonic aura appeared. This demonic beast had the appearance of a bull since it was covered with thick black fur and had a horn on its head. Whenever it breathed, it would breathe out steam. One peculiar thing about the bull was that it had claws on its hooves.

“Fiendhorn Brutebull?” Lin Yun was surprised when he saw the demonic beast. He didn’t expect that a casual punch of his would land in the Fiendhorn Brutebull’s territory.

For the swamp, the Fiendhorn Brutebull was considered a rather powerful elite demonic beast. Aside from those in the pinnacle lesser Yin-Yang stage, who could confidently defeat the Fiendhorn Brutebull, those in the lesser Yin-Yang stage would have a headache facing the Fiendhorn Brutebull.

It wasn’t because it was terrifying, but its thick fur was a powerful natural armor that could isolate most origin energy. But since he had run into it, Lin Yun naturally had to play with it.

Lin Yun smiled as he waved his hand. In the next second, nine silver shuttles connected together to form a short spear. This was the Profound Lightning Shuttle that Lin Yun obtained in the Thundercloud Treasury. This spiritual artifact could be easily controlled and assembled.

The Profound Lightning Shuttles rotated as lightning flickered in the air.

Looking at the Fiendhorn Brutebull charging at him, the Profound Lightning Shuttles spun even more violently. Suddenly, Lin Yun raised his hand as he accumulated his xiantian sword intent in his middle finger.

“Go!” When the Fiendhorn Brutebull was about to reach him, the Profound Lightning Shuttles disappeared. When they reappeared, they exploded with dazzling lightning that pierced through the Fiendhorn Brutebull. Fresh blood splattered out and the Fiendhorn Brutebull’s aura fell.

Lin Yun spread his arms apart and soared into the sky to throw a punch. The Azure Dragon Mark on his chest lit up as eighteen lightning runes started pouring into his right fist. Along with a lightning rumble, his punch landed on the Fiendhorn Brutebull.

Under this punch, the Fiendhorn Brutebull was sent flying. However, Lin Yun didn’t stop and unleashed a barrage of punches on the demonic beast.

Along with a series of explosions, the Fiendhorn Brutebull howled. Fortunately for the Fiendhorn Brutebull, it's thick fur had negated a portion of Lin Yun’s attack. When it landed on the ground, it was still brimming with vitality as it ran away.

Just when Lin Yun was about to chase after it, a purple bolt of lightning streaked across the sky and split the clouds apart. The clouds looked like a waterfall being split into two. This made Lin Yun frown his brows as he came to a stop.

The Profound Lightning Shuttle returned and defended Lin Yun. The bolt of lightning landed on the Fiendhorn Brutebull in the blink of an eye as the colossal bull was torn into pieces from sharp claws. A silver hawk enveloped in lightning opened its mouth and swallowed the Fiendhorn Brutebull’s beast core.

Its colossal figure looked domineering when illuminated by the sunlight. This Silverthunder Demonhawk was a genuine overlord demonic beast of the swamp. It was known for its ferocity and speed that was fast like the wind. Lin Yun had seen it hunt a few times in the distance and many Yin-Yang stage demonic beasts were torn into pieces by it. Lin Yun even speculated that only those in the greater Yin-Yang stage could fight it.

This was still Lin Yun’s first time encountering it. Lin Yun’s heart throbbed violently as he knew it would spell trouble for him if it came after him once it was done feasting on the bull.

But clearly, Lin Yun was overly concerned. After the Silverthunder Demonhawk feasted on the Fiendhorn Brutebull, it glanced at Lin Yun before soaring into the sky. It clearly had no interest in Lin Yun. Then again, it made sense. After all, Lin Yun was only a cultivator in the Yang stage, so Lin Yun was still too weak in the hawk’s eyes.

“I was actually underestimated,” smiled Lin Yun as he rubbed his nose. If he could kill this Silverthunder Demonhawk and refine its beast core, he could instantly refine the twelve remaining lightning runes. At that time, he could bring out about 70% of the Indigoflame Thunderwhip’s power.

“We’ll meet again once I’m done practicing the third move of the Overlord Sword.” Looking at the Silverthunder Demonhawk flying away, Lin Yun’s eyes flashed. He wasn’t afraid of this demonic beast, but it was too fast. It could easily escape before Lin Yun could even bring out his trump cards. So he could only rely on the Overlord Sword if he wanted to take this demonic beast down quickly.

Seven days later, two youths stood side by side as demonic beasts occasionally charged out from the dense mist. The youths were strong and they instantly killed all the demonic beasts that charged out. This was especially true for the youth who used a crimson whip. When he brandished it, the whip crackled in his hand like a viper.

“This place really has a lot of demonic beasts!” The other youth fought with his barefists as lightning enveloped his body.

“There’s no other way if we want to enter the Thunder Prefecture as quickly as possible. If I remember correctly, you’re the one who chose this path,” smiled the youth who used the whip.

“How was I supposed to know that the demonic beasts here would be so troublesome?” asked the youth named Guo Xu. But even so, they were handling the demonic beasts easily.

An hour later, the tide of demonic beasts retreated after leaving behind a pile of corpses. The youth called Guo Xu fell onto the ground as he gasped for his breath, while the youth who used a whip was rather calm. It didn’t look like he exhausted much of his strength.

“Who’s there?!” Just when the youth with the whip was about to speak, his eyes flashed coldly and his whip came to life.

This made Guo Xu, who was on the ground, become alert as he looked up ahead cautiously. They could both sense that what was about to appear from the forest was trouble, regardless if it were demonic beasts or cultivators.

As the two looked forward with caution, a figure slowly walked out. When they saw a youth approach them, they were surprised. Then, the newcomer smiled, “What a coincidence meeting you guys here.”

The newcomer was Lin Yun who was attracted by the noise. But he didn’t expect to see his two acquaintances. The acquaintances were Guo Xu and Yang Fan, who were geniuses on the outer ranking that he met back in the Withernorth Sea. Guo Xu even nearly died in his hands.

When they saw Lin Yun, they were very surprised. Yang Fan quickly calmed down after his initial shock. As for Guo Xu, his chest ached when he saw Lin Yun. His eyes flashed with deep hatred, but he gnashed his teeth and soon ignored it.

Two months ago, Lin Yun killed three experts in the lesser Yin-Yang stage. Two months had passed, and Lin Yun could only be even more powerful. When Lin Yun saw the changes on their faces, he merely smiled and had no ripples on his face.

“What a coincidence. It seems like you’re headed for the Thunder Prefecture as well,” said Yang Fan after a long while. He had a rather good impression about Lin Yun. After all, Lin Yun had killed Qin An, who he hated.

Lin Yun nodded his head. He could guess that Guo Xu and Yang Fan were also intending to head to the Thunder Prefecture judging from the fact that they wanted to pass through the swamp.

Seeing Lin Yun nod his head, Yang Fan hesitated as if he wanted to say something. In the end, he finally spoke, “Lin Yun, did you know that the Bloodwing Pavilion has been annihilated?”

Lin Yun’s heart jolted when he heard the news. The Bloodwing Pavilion was annihilated?

“The Bloodwing Pavilion was, indeed, destroyed. It suddenly vanished about a month ago.” Guo Xu was shocked as he looked at Lin Yun, “Many people are suspecting that it’s related to the force behind you.”

As one of the quasi-overlord forces in Nether Prefectural City, it had existed for over a thousand years. Not even an overlord force like the Yang Palace could erase them. Because they could remain, one could imagine the Bloodwing Pavilion’s foundation. It was also public knowledge that the Bloodwing Pavilion had three Heavenly Soul Realm experts, with a few more that were definitely concealed. However, in just one night, this powerhouse was actually erased.

Lin Yun was stunned when he heard that. No wonder these two looked at me so strangely. Back in the Withernorth Sea, the Bloodwing Pavilion had an irreconcilable grudge with him. So it made sense that the Bloodwing Pavilion’s annihilation was linked to him.

“It makes no sense. I only have the Firmament Sword Pavilion behind me. The pavilion might have two Heavenly Soul Realm seniors, but they shouldn’t be able to annihilate the Bloodwing Pavilion in a single night.” Lin Yun was shocked inwardly. He had some speculation, but he didn’t share it with Guo Xu and Yang Fan. If it was what he had imagined, then the pressure on him would be greater.

Seeing that Lin Yun wasn’t lying, Yang Fan spoke out, “Looks like the Bloodwing Pavilion provoked someone they shouldn’t.”

The Ancient Southern Domain was massive, so it made sense that there were empyreans hidden as hermits. There were similar examples in the past as a force more powerful than the Bloodwing Pavilion was annihilated by a hermit empyrean.

Guo Xu pondered and figured it made sense. After all, Lin Yun wouldn’t have fled for his life if he had such a powerhouse standing behind him.

“You’re here to train yourself before the Draconic Banquet, right?” Yang Fan looked at Lin Yun. Lin Yun became famous from the battle two months ago. But when he looked at Lin Yun again, Lin Yun gave off an unfathomable aura.

There was clearly no change in Lin Yun’s cultivation, but Yang Fan had a feeling that Lin Yun had grown more powerful. Thinking about how he also got more powerful in the past two months, it made sense for Lin Yun to have gotten stronger as well.

“Kind of.” Lin Yun didn’t deny nor agree.

Guo Xu continued, “You’re in the right place if you’re here to train yourself. The Thunder Prefecture is the strongest of the nine prefectures, regardless of geniuses or inner ranking experts.”

“There’s such a saying?” Lin Yun didn’t think too much about it as he came here to search for the Sword Sect’s ruins.

Guo Xu and Yang Fan exchanged a glance before a smile rose on their lips. They were both surprised that Lin Yun didn’t know about this.

After a brief pause, Yang Fan continued, “Let me tell you about it. The Ancient Southern Domain has nine overlord forces. Although the strength of the overlord forces are different. For instance, there’s the Yang Palace, the Indigomoon Elysium, the Northern Southern Manor, and the Heavenly Demon Pavilion. Since the Indigomoon Elysium is said to be the strongest in the Ancient Southern Domain, the Thunder Prefecture naturally has a high position…”

The Thunder Prefecture was the strongest prefecture when the Sword Sect ruled the Ancient Southern Domain. Regardless of feng shui or ancient ruins, the Thunder Prefecture had the most. As the saying went, a man would always seek his way up just as water seeks its way down.

The Thunder Prefecture was the strongest, so people naturally came from all over. As time passed, more and more people would gather there. Not only geniuses on the inner ranking, but also the geniuses of the Thunder Prefecture. They all gathered there and wouldn’t leave unless it was for something special, like the appearance of an empyrean’s tomb.

Anyone who wanted to be accomplished during the Draconic Banquet would come here. Aside from that, the Thunder Prefecture also had many special places, such as its clans. These clans had deep foundations that weren’t any inferior to the nine overlord forces that were ranked towards the rear. The Thunder Prefecture wasn’t what the eight other prefectures could be compared to.

Listening to Yang Fan’s explanation, Lin Yun also had a rough understanding of the Thunder Prefecture.

“Aside from the three kings and seven elites, geniuses on the inner ranking have been gathering there recently. The Thunder Prefecture was where the Sword Sect was situated and a secret realm might appear soon. The opportunities there are beyond your imagination.”

“Three kings and seven elites?” asked Lin Yun.

“That’s how everyone addresses the top ten on the Dragoncloud Ranking. The top three are known as three kings, while the next seven are known as the seven elites. Those in the top ten are a lot stronger than the others on the inner ranking, especially the three kings…” When Yang Fan mentioned the three kings, he wore a grave expression, “I heard that those three are already at the Heavenly Soul Realm’s threshold and they can even fight with seniors in the Heavenly Soul Realm. Their sights are no longer set on the Ancient Southern Domain.”

Lin Yun heard something similar a few months ago when he was told that the strongest batch in the inner ranking could compete with Heavenly Soul Realm experts. He couldn’t understand it back then, but he could now.

“As for the seven elites, they might be a little lacking when compared to the three kings, but their strength still exceeds those on the inner ranking. Each of them has cultivation at the pinnacle Yin-Yang stage.” Yang Fan smiled, “There’s no meaning talking about this now. They’re too unbelievably strong. Even inner ranking geniuses aren’t people the likes of us can contend with. Guo Xu and I received an invitation from an inner ranking’s genius to participate in a gathering.”

The so-called gatherings were usually events that intended to build friendships and to show off strength. Then again, the gatherings weren’t purely to show off strength. For martial cultivators, sparring could widen one’s scope. If they were lucky, they might be able to make a breakthrough after gaining some comprehension.

But most of the people in the gathering were young, so none of them would want to admit that they were inferior to others. It was natural for people to form grudges with each other and show off.

“This gathering is located at Skymound City. Although it’s not a prefectural city, its scale isn’t inferior to the Nether Prefectural City. Lin Yun, you can come along with us if you’re interested,” said Yang Fan as he extended an invitation.

“Isn’t it inappropriate since I wasn’t invited?” asked Lin Yun. He was interested in the gathering. After all, the host was a genius on the inner ranking and he was curious as to how strong the inner ranking was.

“You’re overly-concerned. It’s common for people to come uninvited, not to mention that you’re fully qualified with your strength,” smiled Yang Fan.

Lin Yun nodded his head, “Then we’ll talk again at that time. I still have some things to do in the swamp.”

“Alright, it’s a promise then,” said Yang Fan with expectation in his eyes. He then told Lin Yun about the gathering time and agreed on meeting in Skymound City.

Looking at Lin Yun disappearing through the fog, Guo Xu locked his brows together, “This fellow is becoming more and more unfathomable. I was defeated after ten moves in the empyrean’s tomb. But now, I can be sure that I won’t last more than ten moves in his hands.”

Yang Fan also had interest in his eyes as he said, “This is why I invited him. I want to see how powerful he has become.”

“I’m curious what he is doing in the swamp,” muttered Guo Xu.

“The swamp is filled with demonic beasts. He probably has his eyes on a certain demonic beast’s beast core,” said Yang Fan. His guess wasn’t far from the truth, but he definitely wouldn’t say this so calmly if he knew that Lin Yun was after the Silverthunder Demonhawk.

Encountering Yang Fan and Guo Xu was just a small event for Lin Yun. Aside from the Bloodwing Pavilion’s annihilation, there were two more things that Lin Yun took note of. One was the three kings and seven geniuses, and the other was Skymound City’s gathering.

The three kings and seven geniuses were heaven-defying figures who were unbelievably powerful. This was especially true for the three kings who could exchange moves with a Heavenly Soul Realm expert. Lin Yun had also seen Heavenly Soul Realm experts personally, so he knew how powerful they were. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to contend with the three kings even with his sword intent.

At the very least, I have to reach the Yin-Yang stage to be able to contend with them. Lin Yun evaluated himself realistically. Additionally, he needed to take a step further in his sword intent and grasp at least six forms of the Overlord Sword. As for the Azure Dragon Enneaform, he needed to reach the quadform or better yet, the pentaform.

He still had a long way to go, but at least he had some hope. As for Skymound City’s gathering, he could take a look and examine how strong the other geniuses in the Ancient Southern Domain were. This would also be a great opportunity to scope out the genius on the inner ranking.

The three kings and seven elites no longer placed the Ancient Southern Domain in their sights, which meant that Lin Yun’s sights were still too low. Collecting himself, Lin Yun began to meditate in the swamp. He had spent the past few days comprehending the Overlord Sword’s third form, Big Bang. He had gained some insight in it, so he should reach lesser mastery anytime now.

However, Lin Yun had a high requirement for himself, so he wouldn’t use Big Bang unless he comprehended the real intent behind it. The Thunderbolt Slash’s intent is to be a fast sword and the Solar Slash will manifest a pair of wings that will cut off sunlight.

As for the Big Bang attack… Lin Yun sat with his legs crossed and meditated as a surge of sword intent emitted out from him. If one looked at him carefully, they would notice that the fog around him was being destroyed by the domineering sword intent. This was the intent behind the Overlord Sword, dominance.

As time passed, rain began to fall from the sky. However, the rain was actually purple sparks. It might look like raindrops, but each drop contained a domineering energy. The purple rain didn’t land on the ground and seemed to be gathered behind Lin Yun, forming a lightning sphere.

Three days later, the lightning sphere had grown to a massive height with lightning crackling for over a hundred meters. From afar, it looked like there was a purple sun hovering above Lin Yun.

Lin Yun slowly opened his eyes with a bright flash flickering through his pupils. The lightning sphere behind him suddenly exploded, leaving cracks on the ground with surges of sword intent. The sphere was forming a storm that created an apocalyptic scene.

“I see…each form in the Overlord Sword is stronger than the previous one.” Lin Yun’s eyes flashed as he could see Lil’ Red’s figure in the distance. Could it be that it had found the Silverthunder Demonhawk?

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